Dr Viktoria Spaiser

Dr Viktoria Spaiser


I have a background in Sociology (PhD , Bielefeld University, Germany, 2012), Political Science (MA in Conflict, Security and Development, King’s College London, UK, 2008) and Computer Science (German Diploma, University of Applied Sciences Trier, Germany, 2013). I was a visiting researcher in the Computational Social Science Research Group at ETH Zurich in 2012 and a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Futures Studies Stockholm (2012-2014) and at the Department of Mathematics, Uppsala University in Sweden (2014-2015).

Since August 2015 I am the University Academic Fellow in Political Science Informatics at the University of Leeds, POLIS. I am also affiliated with the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA).


  • ESSL Promotion Panel Member
  • Q-Step Executive Committee Member
  • Deputy Director for the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership CDD pathway

Research interests

I am interested in applying mathematical and computational approaches (such as Dynamical Systems Modelling, Bayesian Statistics, Agent Based Modelling and Data Science Approaches) to social and political science research questions. I have been working on a wide range of topics, including anti-Semitism, political participation, democratisation, development, sustainability and segregation, using various data sources such as register data, cross-country panel data, Twitter data and smartphone data. Recently, I am increasingly interested in public goods dilemmas, specifically how societies can respond to the climate crisis, and in combining data science and experimental methods.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Sociology
  • German Diploma in Computer Science
  • MA in Conflict, Security and Development
  • Magister in Cultural Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology

Student education

I am generally involved in research methods teaching at POLIS, with a focus on quanitative and computational methods. Specifically, I have been or am teaching on the following team-taught modules “Approaches to Analysis” (PIED2721), “Analysing Data in Politics, Development and IR “ (PIED2711), "Advanced Statistical Analysis" (PIED3704), "Research Methods" (PIED5779M) and “Global Inequalities and Development” (PIED5256M). From 2019/2020 onwards I am also teaching  “Introduction to Programming for Social Science” (PIED3999), “Conflict, Cooperation and Strategic Decision Making” (PIED5735M) and “Technhology, Media and Politics: Research and Real World Cases” (PIED5738M).

I supervise PhD students in the areas of Political Science Informatics (Data Science, Big Data etc. in Political Science Research Context), Computational Social Science (Data Science, Big Data, Computer Simulation etc. in Social Science Research Context), Mathematical Modelling in Political Science, Statistical Political Science Research, Democratisation and Sustainability (in particular Commons Dilemmas).

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Democratic Engagement

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>